Black Widow gave us a deep dive into the world of Natasha Romanoff, including her extended Russian “family.” Natasha is a character we’ve known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man 2, and yet she never really had many storylines all her own on-screen. For years we’ve waited for Natasha’s narrative and now that Black Widow is here, we were gifted with an action-packed send-off for Black Widow as well as an introduction into the dark universe that was the Red Room.
And now that we know about the other Widows and Nat’s sister Yelena Belova (played by Florence Pugh, who stole every scene), I want nothing more than a show all about their journey together.
**Spoilers for the movie Black Widow lie within**
When we left Black Widow, Natasha was taking Yelena’s beloved green vest and going to fix her other found family (thus setting up where we see her at the start of Avengers: Infinity War). We also saw Yelena Belova heading off with all of the Widows they just freed from Drekyov’s hold as they came back to save Yelena, Melina, and Alexei from General Ross.
Yelena is ready to take up the mission of freeing the other Widows worldwide (and there are many of them) from the chemical influence and general brainwashing that Dreykov exerted on his army of young women. The potentials of that setup meant that I was left wanting an entire show of Yelena and the Widows—those that were freed along with her, and those that she still had to find.
Then in the end credits of Black Widow, we learn that Yelena is working with the shady, shadowy La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) and is on her “time off” when she goes to visit Nat’s grave. How she came to work for the Contessa or what exactly that work entails we don’t know yet.
But that means there are also quite a few years of Yelena Belova’s life that we know nothing about. She may have gotten snapped away in “the Blip” but even then, there’s still a good amount of time she could spend with the newly liberated Widows and their vital mission. I think this would be a perfect addition to the Disney+ Marvel world of TV series, which enable a closer character study and a chance to dig further into the weeds of comics backstories and MCU goings-on.
Prior to Black Widow, we had very little information in the films about the Red Room and the actual rigors and horrors of the Widows training that Natasha emerged from. Now we have quite a lot of information on our plates all at once. Exploring that with the Widows who were taken from their homes and ripped from their families because of Drekyov, and seeing how they go around the world and free the other Widows still under his spell? That’s what we deserve. Pugh would make for a great lead as Yelena, but there’s also the excellent opportunity here to tell all kinds of stories with actors all over the world in a rich variety of settings.
There is so much drama there to explore that there’s no end in sight; countless Widows have stories to tell. And as we saw at the end of the movie, there are quite a few Widows with Yelena, so there’s already a built-in cast of women recovering from conditioning and betrayal and discovering their own power and sense of self. They all have an important mission thanks to Nat and they know that they have to free the Widows from around the world, but what does it look like actually undertaking such a dangerous and complex pursuit?
We know it’s happening—it’s hard to imagine Yelena abandoning that call—but getting to see it play out? Getting to watch as Yelena and the rest of the women from the Red Room free those who have been under Drekyov’s control? It’d be a more than fitting continuation of the movie and a deeper exploration into the horrors of the Red Room and the exploitation of its “pupils.”
We know we’re going to see Yelena Belova again in Hawkeye as she is coming after Clint Barton, and that Pugh likely has a significant future with Marvel ahead of her. But we’d love to see Yelena have her own series with the rest of the Widows. After so much time waiting for a single Black Widow story, we deserve many more.
(image: Marvel Entertainment)
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